Halide Developer Highlights Hidden Macro Camera Feature in 2021 iPad Pro

When Apple releases a new product with upgraded camera technology, the developers behind popular photography app Halide often take a deep dive into the revamped camera features to provide us with some insight into how things work behind the scenes.

ipad pro macro feature
Halide developer Sebastiaan de With today shared a look at the cameras in the new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, uncovering a hidden macro capability. The ‌iPad Pro‌'s camera has a different lens design than the iPhone camera, which allows it to focus on things that are much closer to the sensor.

The ‌iPhone‌ focuses to about eight centimeters, but the iPad's camera can get a lot closer, allowing for macro shots that aren't possible on an ‌iPhone‌.

de With says that he was using the ‌iPad‌ on his lap when he noticed that it focused perfectly on his pant leg, leading him to try it with other objects. "‌iPad‌ basically comes with a microscope," he says.

The rear camera in the 11 and 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models has not changed from the prior-generation camera used in the 2020 models, so older ‌iPad‌ Pros also seem to be able to use this close-up shot functionality.

It can be difficult to get the ‌iPad Pro‌ camera to focus with the LiDAR sensor-assisted autofocus feature, so de With recommends a camera app like Halide for ‌iPad‌ to put it into a manual focus mode.

The biggest change to the 2021 M1 ‌iPad Pro‌ models comes in the form a revamped front-facing camera that enables a new Ultra Wide "Center Stage" feature that's designed to pan and zoom with you as you move around a room while on video calls.

The Ultra Wide camera functionality used for Center Stage has a 120 degree field of view, but it's all done with software rather than hardware. There's still a single front-facing camera in the ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ that handles both the standard focal length and the wider view.

The ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ has those 12 megapixels packed into the front-facing camera system to enable a more seamless 'dual camera system': one that is entirely created in software. The camera is ultra-wide and only ultra-wide; thanks to software corrections and extra megapixels, the system can just crop that wide and detailed camera feed down to its old focal length.

The standard front-facing camera view is cropped in from the wide-angle view, something that Apple has also done on the latest ‌iPhone‌ models. de With says that Apple's Center Stage feature is a "very impressive bit of software" that can only be achieved with a tight integration of software and hardware.

The full overview of the ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ camera can be read on the Halide website.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tag: Halide
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

jonnyb098 Avatar
4 weeks ago
I just confirmed it works with iPad pro 2020. Tried the same distance with my phone and the same shot is blurry

Both shot with Halide

Attachment Image
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spleen-216 Avatar
4 weeks ago
I’d rather have this on my 12 Pro Max since I take lots of macro shots. I need to clip on a giant lens every time and it’s a nuisance!



Attachment Image
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiseAJ Avatar
4 weeks ago
Gotta love the idea of using a big screen device to take a picture of something drastically smaller.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Roadster Lewis Avatar
4 weeks ago
My first thought was great, you can take a close up photo of whatever is in the shadow of your iPad.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paulypants Avatar
4 weeks ago
Wow! Look at that blooming flower.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnyb098 Avatar
4 weeks ago
While this is pretty awesome stuff for me having a 2020 pro, it’s kind of annoying that apple is still not putting the same cameras in these as the iPhone Pro models.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

macbook air orange

Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air

Monday June 21, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple is believed to be working on a completely new, high-end version of the MacBook Air, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, has repeatedly discussed the company's work on a high-end MacBook Air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and leaker Jon Prosser have also referred to a similar MacBook Air model. The high-end...
AppleEventLogoFeature

Reliable Leaker Known as 'Kang' Hit With Warning From Apple

Thursday June 24, 2021 5:45 am PDT by
The highly reliable Apple leaker known as "Kang" and a number of other unspecified leakers have reportedly received warnings from lawyers representing Apple. According to posts on Kang's Weibo account, Apple recently commissioned a law firm to send admonitory letters to a number of leakers. The letter purportedly cautioned leakers that they must not disclose information about unreleased...
iPhone 12 v Android 2020

Apple Executive Says Users Who Want App Sideloading Already Have That Option With Other Platforms

Wednesday June 23, 2021 5:07 am PDT by
Apple earlier today published a detailed report outlining in blatant terms the negative impact that sideloading would have on the iPhone and iPad, specifically calling out the impacts it would have on user privacy and security. Now, the company is continuing its PR push, with an executive noting in an interview that users who wish to sideload apps already have that option thanks to other...
Dark Sky App Featured

Apple Updates Dark Sky Weather App With Apple Watch Improvements and More

Tuesday June 22, 2021 11:58 am PDT by
Apple today updated the Dark Sky weather app for the first time since November with improved VoiceOver support and other bug fixes and performance improvements. In addition, Dark Sky complications on the Apple Watch now update more frequently. The full release notes for Dark Sky version 6.8.6:• Improved VoiceOver support • Complications on Apple Watch update more frequently •...
airpods 3 5

New AirPods Expected Later This Year as Suppliers Begin Component Shipments

Wednesday June 23, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
At least seven Apple suppliers have reportedly kicked off circuit board-related shipments for upcoming Apple products, and this notably includes third-generation AirPods, which are expected to be released later this year. "Suppliers including Semco, LG Innotek, Kinsus, Unimicron, Nan Ya, Zhen Ding and AT&S have all kicked off their BT substrate shipments for Apple's next-generation products...
under display touch id

Kuo: 2022 iPhones May Feature Under-Screen Touch ID

Wednesday June 23, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple may include an under the screen Touch ID sensor for some models of the 2022 iPhones, according to credible Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In an investor note today obtained by MacRumors, Kuo says that Apple plans to have four models in the 2022 iPhone lineup. Kuo had previously stated that the iPhone 13, destined for this year, will be the last iPhone lineup to feature a 5.4-inch...
iphone 13 lineup dummy models

iPhone 13 Dummy Models Depict Repositioned Camera Modules

Wednesday June 23, 2021 4:12 am PDT by
New alleged dummy models of the upcoming iPhone 13, shared by leaker Sonny Dickson on Twitter, depict a modified camera layout on the standard iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, with two lenses in a diagonal arrangement rather than the vertical arrangement seen on the iPhone 12 models. The dummy models generally line up with iPhone 13 schematics previously seen by MacRumors, which showed that the ...
airtag in hand

Apple Releases Revised AirTag Firmware Update

Wednesday June 23, 2021 10:16 am PDT by
Apple today released a new version of the 1.0.276 firmware designed for AirTags, which is a revision to the update that was made available in June. The new AirTags 1.0.276 firmware has a build number of 1A287b, while the old firmware had a build number of 1A276d. The 1.0.276 firmware that came out in June added anti-stalking security enhancements, and this new version likely just refines...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature

Apple Watch Series 7 May Feature Smaller Double-Sided S7 Chip

Wednesday June 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple Watch Series 7 could feature a smaller "S7" chip, potentially providing more space for a larger battery or other components. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report accessed by MacRumors, next-generation Apple Watch models will adopt double-sided System in Package (SiP) packaging from Taiwanese supplier ASE Technology. On its website, ASE Technology confirms that its...
series6leds

iOS 15 Hints at Rumored Apple Watch Series 7 Feature

Wednesday June 23, 2021 3:17 am PDT by
A new feature in Apple's upcoming iOS 15 update appears to lay the groundwork for a rumored Apple Watch Series 7 health monitoring feature. iOS 15, Apple's recently-announced major software update for the iPhone, features a number of additions to the Health app, such as the ability to share health data with other people, trends, new metrics for walking steadiness, and more. One of the...